Dubai – MENA Herald: A study published today by Deloittefinds that the economic footprint of sportnow exceeds US$1.7 billion a year, reflecting the success of a carefully developed sports industry, which has been part of the fabric of Dubai for more than 40 years.
The report, publishedduring Host Cities 2015 by Deloitte’s Sports Business Group, quantifies for the first time the economic impact of sport in Dubai.Of the US$1.763bn generated by sport in Dubai each year (gross expenditure), $670m originates from overseas (economic impact) -an indication of the emirate’s growing standing on the world’s sporting stage.
The largesteconomic contribution comes from Dubai’s annual calendar of more than 300 events, which attract more than 1m spectators each year. Seven major annual events account for more than 90 per cent of the events sector’s direct economic impact on Dubai’s economy. These events, which span horseracing, golf, marathon running, tennis, rugby and cycling have helped establish Dubai as the region’s preeminent sports hub.
Significantly, ahead of the DP World Tour Championship this weekend, the report reveals that Dubai is already one of the leading golf tourism destinations in the world, with 16,000 international golf visitors enjoying its 11 courses every year. Today the sport contributes US$270m of gross expenditure to Dubai’s sports economy, with US$131m of that originating from abroad.
In addition to events, sports facilities and local participation play an important role in the sports industry, which now employs more than 14,500 people in Dubai.
Dubai has invested in sustainable facilities that not only attract elite sports events but also contribute to sports participation, which is an important part of the UAE’s national health and wellness agenda. The UAE’s first National Sports Day takes place next week (25 November).
The report estimates that mass participation events attract over 85,000 participants each year, and are growing in popularity. Sports clubs, academies and schools also add significantly to participation levels: in 2015, Dubai’s Sports City’s academies (football, rugby and cricket) alone are expected to attract a total footfall of around 1.4 million.
His Excellency SaeedHareb, Secretary General of the Dubai Sports Council, said:“In Dubai we have long recognised that sport plays an important role in the growth and appeal of any global city andhave worked strategically to invest in resources and capabilities across the sector. We have been building our sports industry for more than 40 years, with a continued focus on the future. The Deloitte report highlights what has been achieved and demonstrates the strength of Dubai’s existing offering in world-class events and facilities.
“Dubai remains committed to sport and the report points to future opportunities which will be used to inform our ongoing strategic thinking as we continue on our journey to become one of the world’s international sporting destinations.”
Dan Jones, Head of Sports Business Group, Deloitte, said: “Our work has confirmed that sport has established itself as an important part of the Dubai economy. Dubai’s excellent geographical location, transport connections, facilities and climate (particularly during the European winter) make it an attractive destination for sports participants, both at an elite and a recreational level, as well as event organisers. Sport makes a great contribution to the Dubai economy and Dubai, through the welcome it offers as a host city and through its outbound investment and international sponsorship deals, makes an increasingly significant contribution to world sport.”
With Dubai’s strategic location between East and West, and diverse and young population, the Deloitte report anticipates strong future growth in sporttourism, attendance and participation.
A full version of the Deloitte report: ‘Economic Impact of Sport in Dubai’, is available at: http://www2.deloitte.com/uk/en/pages/sports-business-group/articles/economic-impact-of-sport-in-dubai.html
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Supporting quotes from relevant sports industrystakeholders:
Bernard Lapasset, World Rugby Chairman, commented: “Dubai has a unique relationship with World Rugby and the game of rugby sevens, having hosted the first World Cup in sevens for both men and women back in 2009. Of all the events in recent memory, that was perhaps the most pivotal in the sport proving itself in the eyes of the IOC and gaining its place at the Olympic Games in 2016. Dubai is a marvellous place for World Rugby to bring its players, men and women, to kick off the new HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, a season which will culminate in rugby’s supreme athletes taking their place on sport’s grandest stage, in Rio.”
2015 Patron the MENA Golf Tour and 2016 Ryder Cup captain, Darren Clarke OBE, said: “I have been coming to Dubai to play professional golf for over 20 years. During this time, I have witnessed the incredible vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum unfold before my eyes. From a golfer’s perspective, Dubai is now the epicentre of the European Tour, with the Race to Dubai headlining its season, as well as it being home to the Omega Dubai Desert Classic for 26 years. I have taken the time to get to know Dubai and its people and love coming here at any opportunity. Dubai is home to some of the best hotels on the planet, superb restaurants and great golf courses. What’s not to like? It is brilliant!”
Poul-Erik Høyer, Badminton World Federation (BWF) President, said: “We wanted to bring the annual climax to our year, the BWF World Superseries Finals (held for the first time in Dubai in 2014), somewhere that could help us grow the sport and make it even more accessible to fans across the world. We chose Dubai because it has the accessibility, the infrastructure, the venue, the passion, and a commitment to building grassroots participation. And it has a track record in hosting world-class sporting events. Our partnership with Dubai is creating economic benefit for us both and we look forward to coming back in December.”